March 20, 2023 2 min read

Man Blows His Defense in Gambling Fraud Case after TikTok Stream

One Michael Shaw is going to serve a 16-month prison sentence after he posted social media videos telling his followers about he managed to defraud machines in betting shops

He was sentenced by a judge at Liverpool Crown Court, which was inclined to show the man leniency but was then dissuaded when it transpired that Shaw had “bragged” to his TikTok followers about his crime. He, and his partner in crime, Paul Shaw, pled guilty to a conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

The Bookie Fraudster

The pair was active for a half-year period from September 2017 through May 2018. They would target betting shops and pubs in various towns across North England and use laminated £20 bills to trick the machine into thinking that they had paid. In reality, the pair was using a cord to pull the banknote out of the machines.

A total of £15,258.90 had been stolen from across 20 properties. While the crime was serious enough as it were, the court initially thought of offering a more lenient sentence. That was until Michael decided to go on a self-confession and expose his thoughts about his crime to his 70,000 TikTok followers.

He went on to explain how he was a modern-day Robinhood and came up with the moniker “the bookie fraudster” in an hour-long stream that is still on his account. Michael explained his actions as nothing to be ashamed of, and said that he wasn’t hurting people, but only taking from the bookies.

Je Ne Regrette Rien

“And people really, really, need to understand this, the bookies rob from us,” he said. Some followers suggested that he should have not shared his information, but Michael responded that it was alright – he had already pled guilty at the time. What he did not get through was the sentencing bit which was influenced by his video.

Michael explained that his alleged crime was not something bad, but something that would allow him to hold his head high. The rant may have gone mostly unnoticed, but the Liverpool Echo found out about it and reported it, which seems to have made it to Judge Garrett Byrne who put into question whether Michael was remorseful for his decisions.

His legal representative, Charles Lander, insisted that this was still very much the case, but the video proved too strong a piece of evidence that the judge ultimately thought would merit more time in prison. Michael was sentenced to 16 months as a result, instead of the 12 the judge initially thought would be appropriate.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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